The Weddington Warriors picked up right where their 2016 football season left off. After posting 13 wins last season, Weddington rolled to a 28-0 home win over the Ardrey Kell Knights in the season opener for both teams.
Weddington scored a touchdown in each quarter while their smothering defense pitched a shutout. The Warriors limited the Knights to 190 total yards and only 81 in the second half. Ardrey Kell quarterback Luke Hefferly, who was hounded most of the night by a relentless Warriors’ pass rush, finished 9-of-23 for only 66 yards.
The Warriors jumped out to a 14-0 halftime lead, aided by two Ardrey Kell turnovers. Eamon Murphy had a pair of touchdowns (one TD pass and one rushing) while Wayne Dixie ran for a score from 17 yards out. Freshman RB Will Shipley snagged a 59-yard TD pass to account for the fourth Warriors’ touchdown. Weddington quarterback Wittner Litton threw for 159 yards and two scores on 10-of-19 passing.
The Warriors lost 20 seniors to graduation from its state championship team, but it appears Weddington coach Tim Carson did a good job of stocking his team with younger but talented players. Meanwhile first-year head coach Kyle Brey came up empty in his attempt to win his Ardrey Kell coaching debut.
Three who matter:
Weddington RB/WR Eason Murphy: Caught a 10-yd TD pass and had a six-yard rush for a TD to account for 12 of the Warriors’ 28 points.
Weddington freshman RB Will Shipley: The younger brother of junior Warriors’ wide receiver James had a 59-yard catch for a touchdown and rushed for 32 yards on six carries.
Ardrey Kell RB Anthony Carter: Had the most touches for the Knights with 16 carries for 67 yards.
Worth mentioning: Since losing the first three games of its 2016 season, Weddington has reeled off 14 straight wins. The Warriors won 13 straight games (including playoffs) to close out last season in route to an NC 3A state championship, and won Friday for their fourteenth in a row. ... Ardrey Kell turned the ball over three times while Weddington had two turnovers.
Records: Ardrey Kell (0-1, 0-0), Weddington (1-0, 0-0)
What’s next: Ardrey Kell will host Myers Park next Friday. On Sept. 1, Weddington will travel to face Porter Ridge.